The commute home tonight took forever. In fact, I listened to the entire "Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" by the time I got home. It's not a short album, either. I was expecting to find a little bit of someone else's orange juice left in the refrigerator and was disappointed to meet only an empty jug. Monkey Gland plans fizzled and I hit the trusty cocktail guide to find a substitute.
Nearly all of the classic cocktails have some sort of citrus juice in them - lemon is the most common but there are plenty with lime or orange. I had no fresh fruit, so it looked like martinis were imminent. Gin is still strongly represented in the cabinet and dry vermouth is there by default. But luckily I ran across two drinks, both with Pernod, suiting my ingredients perfectly. And we stick to the anisette theme!
The London Fog - 2 ounces gin shaken with 1/4 ounce Pernod and served over ice - lost the first round to the Savoy Hotel Special, mostly because I already had a cocktail glass chilling in the freezer and the Savoy has a few more ingredients.
Stir 2 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, 2 dashes grenadine, and 1 dash Pernod over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Have a look below.
Ready to serve.
The first impression is very much like a martini - after all, it's mostly all gin and vermouth. There's a light but clear essence of anise mingled with the gin and vermouth aromas. The grenadine smooths out the bracing bite of the gin with its sweetness, but this is by no means a cocktail for all tastes. And it certainly isn't a drink to ponder because as it warms up, it snaps back.
For fans of the dry martini, this is an interesting variation. In fact, at a chain restaurant, if the bartender could even be bothered to stir one up for you, it would probably be called the Liquorice Martini or something equally banal. And you can certainly taste 1930 in there (the cocktail was inspired by "The Savoy Cocktail Book" from 1930). Pop "The Thin Man" in your DVD player, stir up a pitcher of these Savoy Hotel Specials and drink along, pondering bygone days when drinking was more than a hobby; it was a lifestyle.